Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - January 7, 2023

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JANUARY 7, 2023 LEGAL NOTES Keep a paper Trail CANDID PERSPECTIVES New Year reflecTioNs oN a pope, a TV Trailblazer, aNd The Nfl’s damar hamliN NEWS FEATURE chamiNade’s lizeTTe Nolasco soars To success as wiNNer of chroNicle’s $2,500 JourNalism scholarship HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS local hawaii farmers sTruggle wiTh depressioN, sTudY shows

High Inflation Is Our Top News for 2022

It’s not a surprise that high inflation came in on top of our 2022 year in review. It and the economy came in as the most important issue in last year’s midterm elections, according to various news organizations’ exit polls.

What high inflation basically does is shrink people’s incomes. Its impact is like a broad tax that affects everyone from rich to poor. To millions of Americans on a fixed budget, high inflation matters to a point that could lead to rationing of prescription drugs for many seniors or how much food to put on the table for families. It could force heads of households to take on a second or third job, which takes away time from loved ones and personal time to regenerate and recover from an already hard day at work.

In a dramatic interpretation, it’s fair to say that high inflation is an insidious monster that is difficult to control. When prices go up on one or two items, it creates a ripple effect that other businesses must pass on to their customers. And that cycle of price hikes goes full circle and repeats itself.

There are many explanations why inflation is so high. It’s linked to the pandemic, labor shortage, low supply to high demand, bottleneck supply chain. These are “temporary” reasons.

Other economists more thoughtful in systemic, a longer view, historical approach to reasoning, attribute high inflation to the concentration of industry where there isn’t sufficient competition. Basically, that large monopolies of industries can set whatever price they want. There is strong evidence to support this theory given that many big corporations are having record-breaking profits during this period of high inflation.

Then you have others who attribute Russia’s invasion to Ukraine (HFC’S number four top news of 2022) causing oil (by extension gasoline) prices to soar, as well as wheat and other products the two countries export heavily to the global market. The war is causing a supply shortage around the world.

All of these explanations are probably correct to some degree. Others are perhaps more valid and influential.

The fact is inflation has been outpacing income for years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and starting in late 2021 it just careened to limits that caused an uproar among a vast majority of Americans. In 2022, high inflation – increasing cost of food, utilities, gas, rent, just about anything from milk and eggs to fertilizer – was everyone’s rant of the day. This has been the big topic we’d all hear about and participate in.

The fact that many felt the need to talk about it so frequently meant that stress levels are high, and people need to vent.

The other financial crisis waiting in the wings for 2023

The Federal Reserve’s response to tame inflation is to do what they’ve always done, raise interest rates. That is intended to slow the market down. Basically, to slow down demand which will bring about a closer equilibrium to supply.

But raising interest rates is harmful which is why the Federal Reserve is very conservative about raising it. Why? Because it could slow down business too much where businesses will begin to make minimum profit, just break even, or lose money. That, in turn, forces businesses to cut down on expenses. Where do they look to first? Cutting back on staff, letting employees go. Unemployment becomes widespread, and we go into what economists are predicting for 2023, which is a recession.

Then suddenly, Americans find themselves in yet another financial crisis they must wait out, as we’ve done in the last recession which was during the pandemic.

There are experts who say raising interest rates will not


Following the most challenging and uncertain two years in modern history caused by the triple whammy of COVID-19, deepest global recession and political instability, 2022 was supposed to be the year of hope, healing, and a return to normalcy. In reality, there was definitely progress in some areas and a collective will to move on but bouncing back clearly would require more time.

For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo revisits the top 10 stories the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle covered for 2022. Topping our list isn’t a surprise. It was the continuation of economic hardship for a third consecutive year. But this time, the scissors cutting a hole in our pocket was high inflation. Prices soared for gasoline, utilities, groceries, rent and just about everything in 2022. High inflation has added stress to the daily lives of our Hawaii residents and our Filipino community who already are paying more on average for most goods relative to other states. But 2022 wasn’t all glum. A refreshing high point for our community was the relaunching of live in-person events. Our annual Filipino Fiesta & Flores de Mayo returned and other community events after a twoyear hiatus. Find out what our other top stories for 2022 are in our cover story.

Also, in this issue HFC contributor and Journalism Scholarship Chair Edna Bautista, Ed.D. writes a news feature on HFC’s 2022 journalism scholarship recipient Lizette Jelena Nolasco of Pearl City, a Chaminade University student majoring in communication with a minor in history. She is an honor roll student expected to graduate in May 2024. She will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Congratulations Lizette. Bautista also updates us on HFC’s immediate past recipient Jasmine Sadang who graduated a semester earlier than expected from Hawaii Pacific University with a major in Mass Communication/Media Studies and minor in English. She earned honors distinction as magna cum laude at the graduation ceremony just weeks ago. Congratulations Jasmine. We wish her the best in her future career endeavors.

Speaking of journalism, one of the Filipino community’s pioneering journalists HFC columnist Emil Guillermo who is a former TV anchor and former host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” writes about the passing of journalist Barbara Walters. We have these stories and other columns and news we hope you’ll enjoy.

Lastly, on behalf of our HFC staff, I wish you all a Happy New Year. May it be filled with great health, prosperity and joy. Until next issue, Aloha and Mabuhay!

tame inflation, at least not in this specific round of inflation that is more centered around basic goods and energy. Raising interest rates will directly slow down some industries like real estate which has basically come to a near full stop after the first quarter of 2022 in some communities. But raising interest rates will hardly affect the cost of basic goods and energy. The fact that groceries are still high and keep rising incrementally shows there is some evidence to back up this theory.

It’s very complex and frustrating to many Americans who find themselves on the short end of the stick and not in control to affect change, which is why inflation is exactly like an insidious monster that can’t be controlled.

Publisher & Executive Editor

Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.

Design Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad

Editorial & Production Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader

Elpidio R. Estioko Perry Diaz

Emil Guillermo

Melissa Martin, Ph.D.

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

J.P. Orias

Pacita Saludes

Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D.

Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista

Edna Bautista, Ed.D.

Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma

Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz

Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D.

Caroline Julian

Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias

Maita Milallos

Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D.

Renelaine Bontol-Pfister

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

Mark Lester Ranchez

Jay Valdez, Psy.D.

Glenn Wakai

Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents:

Big Island (Hilo and Kona)

Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai

Millicent Wellington Maui

Christine Sabado

Big Island Distributors

Grace LarsonDitas Udani

Kauai Distributors

Amylou Aguinaldo

Nestor Aguinaldo

Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros

Molokai Distributor

Maria Watanabe

Oahu Distributors

Yoshimasa Kaneko

Pamela Gonsalves

Shalimar / Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives

Carlota Hufana Ader

JP Orias

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What Can We Expect from a Republican-led U.S. House?

As of press time, the new Republican majority in the U.S. House failed to agree on a speaker. Former minority leader Republican Kevin McCarthy did not get the required votes needed for speaker after a fifth try and counting.

The inability to get a quick consensus on speaker forbodes stalemates could be far more common than any previous Congress. The fractionalized Republican party – die-hard Trumpers, the Freedom caucus ultra conservatives, moderate Republicans, self-promoting “fluid” idealogues – needs a leader to bring the party together.

Whether McCarthy prevails and becomes speaker, it’s doubtful that he is that leader the Republican party needs and most likely will be plagued with dissent repeatedly.

Perhaps even more disturbing is McCarthy’s appeal (groveling) to Trump after the third round of votes which signals weakness. And weakness not just on McCarthy himself, but on Trump, because the next rounds of voting did not change any after Trump stepped in attempting to be the broker to unite the party.

Clearly, Trump has lost a grip on the Republican party, as his shine also dulled among conservative media that essentially substituted him for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after the national midterm bust.

What can we expect of the new Congress?

Fast forward and let’s assume Republicans got their speaker (whoever he or she is), what can we expect or hope for in a Republican-led Congress?

First, many Republican U.S. Reps. have already expressed support for various investigations – from looking into Hunter Biden to the origins of COVID-19 to investigating former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Investigations to nowhere, possibly attempt impeach-


Fruitless investigations are not the path to rebuilding a healthy Republican party. This will not win over independents who they’ll need in the future and will only serve to disenfranchise the party. We also know that Trump wants the House to investigate and investigate as he feels he was unfairly targeted. In his own words, the target of a “witch hunt” or in his case multiple “witch hunts.”

Based on whatever their findings are in their investigations, there could also be attempts to impeach President Joe Biden, a tit for tat move that would be a longshot. But nevertheless, attempted. How do we know this? Some U.S. Reps already said so, bluntly and plainly that they’ll try to do this. Secondly, why else

would they be investigating Hunter Biden?

Promote conservative agenda

We can also look to Republican trendsetters Texas and Florida state legislatures to get a preview of what the U.S. House will set as agenda.

The conservative agenda in the Bush years used to be adopting mandatory prayers in school and protecting the desecration of the U.S. flag on the “symbolic” level. On the more substantive level, overturning Roe and outlawing abortion nationally were top priorities.

Today, Roe has already been overturned and states have the power to determine the conditions from which abortions could be legal or outright banned completely. Will Republican House members attempt a national ban on abortion? Most likely, no. Such legislation would be dead on arrival (DOA) in the U.S. Senate where Democrats still holds a majority. Further, the results of the midterm elections – that had many women voting against the Republican party over Roe’s overturn – is fear enough to deter attempts at expanding abortions nationally.

The “symbolic” promotion of today’s conservative agenda will be attempts to legislate against “critical race theory” and “gender ideology” as what’s been done in Florida. But again, we’re looking at DOA in the Senate.

Politicizing inflation failed

We see in the last midterm election (HFC’S number three top news for 2022) that Republicans’ attempt to politicize high inflation and blame the Biden administration and Democrats for it did not work.

It’s hardly believable if Republicans offered no alternative or plan to combat inflation themselves. It’s common knowledge that the hands off, let the market do its thing approach, or the correct economic term laissefaire, does not work.

Most Republicans being real and truthful know laisse-

faire doesn’t work. Only Libertarians seem to believe in it because they don’t want government’s hands in just about anything – the ultimate form of political Darwinism, caveman politics.

Democrats also are culpable in that they simply haven’t been able to do enough. But out of all the political parties, Democrats are right in that there must be a handson approach to fix the multipronged problems stated above as reasons for high inflation.

To do nothing is immoral

To do nothing about high

inflation is gross negligence, even immoral as more Americans keep falling into poverty and into ALICE.

If we are to be serious about alleviating the constant pressures of financial hardship – by either inflation or recession – that Americans have been feeling and breaking their backs over, there must at minimum be an agreement on compassion and a political will to make life better for as many people as possible. We need to bring morality into politics. This is the start and a lesson we should have learned decades ago.

Where progress could be made, border reform

The area of optimism where Republican House members could get traction and hopefully broker deals with Democrats is legislation to improve the country’s border security. The latest migrant surge due to the possibility of Title 42 (that allows immigration authorities at the border to quickly expel migrants and deny entry to asylum seekers over health concerns) ending brought in tens of thousands of migrants from as far as South America to the border. The visuals were startling.

Democrat mayors from New York City to Chicago and El Paso all called on the Federal government for assistance and financial aid to support the massive migrant influx. The takeaway is that even Democrat lawmakers will be pressured to beef up border security.

Ideally, comprehensive immigration reform should be worked on which has been ignored for decades. We hope that Republicans and Democrats will come up with a comprehensive package and insert border security items in it. This would be the best, long-term solution.

However, the more politically realistic approach is to address border security outside of the gigantic umbrella of comprehensive immigration

reform. It’s doubtful that Republicans would want to give Biden credit for such a grand achievement of getting comprehensive immigration reform done, even if it would be best for the country.

Besides increase funding for CPB and ICE, lawmakers should work out conditions for entry of migrants.

We know most migrants (about 40%) will not qualify for asylum after their court hearing. So why encourage migrants to risk life and limb to trek all that way to the border to be eventually denied after gaining entry. Technology already is capable for a prescreening process that would grant only serious, legitimate candidates for asylum to come to the border. This would prevent the massive influx of migrants we’ve been seeing who actually believe that being allowed to cross into the U.S. is the final acceptance, which we know it is not.

Do what’s best for the country

Republicans’ slim win of the House could be very productive. They can achieve at least some of their priorities they’ve been talking about for decades, namely reforming immigration. They just need to work with Democrats, compromise, and do what’s best for the country.

(High Inflation....from page 2)


Inflation, Elections, War, Return of Filipino Community Events Top HFC’s Year in Review

Future historians will peg 2022 along with 2021 as critical post-pandemic years.

2022’s major challenges drawing headlines, particularly those related to the economy from inflation, supply chain disruptions to demand-supply imbalances, all take root in the early global response to containing the pandemic, economists say.

There were areas that did better in bouncing back that warranted media attention like the return of live in-person events. Bringing back the annual Filipino Fiesta & Flores de Mayo on surface might not be a top, shiniest of newsworthy stories, but the relaunching of in-person events like it signaled a return to normalcy. Big

Inflation! Inflation!


Topping the list of news was inflation which was extensively covered by HFC in three parts –the impact it had on food, groceries and basic items, the impact it had on rent that triggered a shortage and higher rent prices, and lastly the impact it had on gasoline and energy prices. Each of these angles of inflation were HFC cover stories in 2022.

Americans struggled with extraordinary financial hardship for a third consecutive year that begun with the pandemic, but in 2022, was spiked by high inflation. COVID-19’s grip loosened, but many of the forces driving high inflation stem from the repercussions of the pandemic, economists say.

Both the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed inflation in 2022 reaching historic highs well above 7%, levels, not seen since 1982.

Inflation was more acute in major, expensive states to live in like Hawaii. In 2022, Hawaii registered the highest housing wage (cost for rent and mort-

news for Hawaii’s Filipino community.

The reemergence of in-person events also made it possible for Filipinos globally to experience at theaters the first Hollywood produced and backed Filipino film, Jo Koy’s Easter Sunday. The film’s big box office theater release would not have been as attention grabbing as a streaming release common during the pandemic lockdowns.

2022 saw major lingering problems that were top news stories in previous years like Hawaii’s critical physician shortage.

Other lingering issues finally got some action on them – Congress’s historic bill enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices and President Joe Biden’s massive for-

gage relative to income). It had the highest food prices in the nation mostly due to the state’s reliance of imported food. It also had one of the highest gasoline prices.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) placed Hawaii at the top in the nation for food costs. A family of four in Hawaii spent an estimated annual food cost average of $14,042 in 2022, the highest amount among states. Compare that to number two Massachusetts – a substantial drop off – at $11,674, or last place Kentucky, $8,527. EPI also lists a Hawaii typical family’s income at $97,813 (above the national average of $80,069).

Economists link the high food prices to lower supply relative to demand. Experts say the rise in rent was also a low supply-high demand issue where there is a shortage in total rental units available relative to a higher number of people scrambling to find rentals.

Michael Yoshino, Realtor-Associate, Locations Real Estate Brokerage, Esq., told the Filipino Chronicle, “When the rental eviction moratorium was in effect, rental prices were

down because everyone was staying in place to stay safe. Once it was lifted, the renters quickly consumed the rental inventory and it’s been trending in this direction ever since.

“So, we have low rental inventory which has been driving rental prices up over the last half year or so. Many of the renters are local and a good portion have been displaced by owners selling their home in this hot market, but we also have many renters from out-of-state who are moving to Hawaii due to the rise in the work from home trend,” Yoshino said.

#2 Hawaii Elections

HFC did cover stories on the top candidates for governor, lt. governor and both congressional districts. It also presented candidates of Filipino ancestry in each Hawaii state and counties races.

Hope, fear, promises –these are classic trademarks of an election year. And it was no different in 2022. Hawaii held its largest election in years due to redistricting. Atypically, the entire State Senate were up for reelection last year. The State

giveness of existing federal college loans.

Seasonal cyclical news like the Hawaii and national midterm elections commanded a lion’s share of the year’s media coverage. Russia’s attack on Ukraine was the biggest single event news to be discussed in history classes well into the future.

The following is HFC’S top 10 Year in Review for 2022.

Senate races were more significant with the extraordinary large number of senators retiring that triggered major candidate movements.

For Hawaii’s Filipino community, this resulted in the highest representation of Filipinos elected to the Senate, 7 out of 25, or 28%, higher than the percentage of this ethnic group’s population in the state. Filipino American candidates elected as senators included: Lorraine Inouye, Joy San Buenaventura, Donna Kim, Brandon Elefante, Donovan Dela Cruz, Henry Aquino, Gilbert Keith-Agaran.

Many of those elected are slated for leadership and chairs of committees in the state’s highest legislative chamber with Sen. Dela Cruz to retain his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Ways and Means committee.

While highly qualified and recipients of major backing, top Filipino candidates who ran for Congress did not win. Filipinos remain underrepresented in the State House even with newly elected members.

Hawaii elected a new governor Josh Green, which polls

showed a majority of voting Filipinos supported.

#3 National Midterm Elections

Political fervor enveloped communities from coast to coast in yet another contentious national midterm elections. The expected red wave – Republican takeover -- failed to materialize as the Senate remained in the hands of Democrats and multiple governorships flipped to blue.

Republicans barely won control of the House that typically goes to the opposing party of a current president by a landslide. Republicans managed to garner a net gain of nine seats that typically would have the opposing party to the sitting president gain 25-plus seats. Republican leaders and pundits blamed former president Donald Trump for the party’s losses.

Significant national issues like democracy’s fragility, the overturning of Roe, gun control, the January 6 insurrection (all topics covered in HFC editorials) were deciding factors in many of the national races.

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#4 Russia Invades Ukraine, Impacts World Economy

Along with inflation and the national midterm elections, Russia’s invasion on Ukraine garnered the most media attention in 2022.

After 30 years of peace in Europe, war broke out with Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. There were previous talks that the Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin would launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but most had doubts that any European leader would have the temerity to exact war given the continent’s long streak of peace. But it happened. Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and Europe’s – and by extension the world’s – global geopolitical order is at a level of risk not seen since WWII.

Besides treats to global security militarily and in the worst case a nuclear war (which is why the invasion could very well have been the top news story of the year, or any other year as long as the war continues), the Russian invasion has affected global markets.

On March 8, President Biden issued an Executive Order prohibiting the importation of Russian- oil. This sanction exacerbated the already rising cost of oil and gasoline and contributed to the U.S and global inflation.

Russia is a key supplier of not just oil and gas, but also wheat, metals and fertilizers. Sanctions on Russia have led to sharp rises in various commodity prices. Both Ukraine and Russia produce a substantial amount of grain for export across the world. Since the invasion, Ukraine harvested less than half of its usual 80 million metric tons (MMT) of grain. This has impacted world grain shortages not just for direct human consumption, but animal consumption, alcohol supply and fuel production.

The impact of the war reaches communities around the world, including Hawaii’s Filipino community.

HFC did a cover story and editorials on the war.

#5 Philippines Presidential Election

The controversial leader of

the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte had his term expire after six years of mixed reviews on his policies: laudable efforts to grow the nation’s economy but abysmal track record on human rights. The country held its national election and Filipinos elected another controversial leader in Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., son of the former dictator and grifter, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Locally in Hawaii, there was heavy support for opposition party presidential candidate Leni Robredo who was the incumbent vice president of the Philippines.

Marcos, Jr. received almost double the votes cast for Robredo. An estimated 67.5 million eligible voters flocked to precincts with a record-breaking turnout of over 81%.

“Marcos is the first presidential candidate with a clear majority since 1965, the year when his father won the presidency. He will be able to take office in June because there exists no viable threat to his presidency,” Patricio N. Abinales, professor, Department of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, told the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle.

HFC did two cover stories on the Philippine elections.

#6 The Return of Filipino Community Events

Hawaii’s Filipino community had cause for jubilation as in-person community events returned. The annual Filipino Fiesta & Flores de Mayo and the annual HFWCA Terno Ball were among many other community events relaunched after a two-year hiatus. On the charitable end, the Hawaii-based Ohana Medical Mission (OMM) did its first soft in-person mission to the Philippines just weeks ago and is set to go on a full-scale mission early this year.

2022 was Hawaii’s Filipino Fiesta’s 30th year. It has been the biggest cultural celebration for the Filipino community since its inception drawing thousands of attendees each year. The 2022 fiesta was held at the FilCom Center, which building was made possible in part due to early fundraising by organizers of the Filipino Fiesta.

Another popular annual event is the Hawaii Filipino


Women’s Club and Associates (HFWCA) Terno Ball. HFC’s Carlota Ader, President of HFWCA, said the 2022 Terno Ball was its 45th anniversary.

Ader said the Terno Ball is more than just fashion and fun. “The evening is about celebrating lasting friendships among HFWCA members, giving recognition to deserving individuals, and ultimately about community empowerment. Proceeds of that evening also go toward funding our other projects.”

She said the Terno ball is also about honoring women who’ve achieved success in their respective careers. “Traditionally, women have played the supportive role in the family with being the caretaker while the men have supported the family financially. Our Terno Ball celebrates the aspirations and the successes of women who dare to dream and break the ‘glass ceiling.’ It is all about empowering and encouraging women to recognize this inner strength and abilities. More Filipino women today are college-educated and have careers. Essentially, we can have the best of both worlds -- a happy family and a successful career!”

Dr. Ian E. Guerrero, current president of OMM, said two in-person missions were relaunched for a first time since the pandemic in December in the Ilocos provinces. During the pandemic’s peak, he said OMM conducted a virtual mission. OMM’s first full-scale, in-person mission will occur this January 9-14.

HFC did a cover story on both community events and published news on other community functions. HFC also did a cover story on the Ohana Medical Mission.

#7 Prescription Drug Prices to Lower as Medicare Gets Green Light to Negotiate Drug Prices

History was in the making in 2022 with one of the biggest policy achievements in years as Medicare was granted the right to negotiate drug prices. This means prescription drug prices are expected to lower once the law takes effect. The Medicare drug price negotiations was a part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, passed by Congress and signed into law by

President Biden.

Pharma has fought to stave off the right for Medicare to negotiate prices for over three decades.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, prescription drugs represent 10% of national health spending and nearly 20% of health benefit costs for large employers and Medicare. With IRA’s passage, Medicare would gain the power to negotiate its costs for pharmaceuticals, initially in 2026 for 10 drugs.

In Hawaii there are over 280,000 seniors who get their health care through Medicare.

Health reform provisions in the IRA also caps out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs to $2,000 a year with the option to break that amount into affordable monthly payments. This starts in 2025. Medicare enrollees who take insulin will also pay no more than $35 monthly.

IRA’s passage was a major victory for seniors. HFC did an editorial and news on this monumental legislation.

#8 Hawaii Physician Shortage, Crisis Continues

The current supply-demand shortfall of physician-to-patient is still a crisis in medically underserved communities.

According to the Hawaii Physician Workforce Report the statewide physician shortage from 2019 to the present is estimated to be between 710 and 1,008. The higher number (1,008) is projected when re-

searchers accounted for specialty specific needs.

The proportional need is greatest on the neighbor islands with both Maui and Hawaii County experiencing a physician shortage of 40%.

The report found some of the reasons for the shortage in Hawaii include the aging of physicians and retirement; not enough new physicians are coming to practice in the state; the high cost of living is driving doctors to leave the islands; insurance reimbursement is lower in Hawaii compared to other states; Hawaii lacks adequate residency training positions that forces local graduates to move; administrative tasks got too complicated; and newer technology also got too complicated for older physicians not tech savvy.

The same report estimates Hawaii needs to add as many as 820 doctors to a pool of 3,484 physicians actively providing care to satisfy the need for services.

Dr. Charlie Sonido, CEO of Primary Care Clinic of Hawaii (PCCH), Asst. Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and founder of Hawaii Physicians Preceptorship Program, said “There is an acute shortage of physicians in the state of Hawaii in all specialties, especially among Filipinos. Our clinic at the Primary Care Clinic of (continue on page 7)

(Inflation...from page 4)

As 2022 ended, a Pope emeritus (Benedict) and a glass-ceiling breaking broadcaster (Barbara Walters) have died. Asian American Filipinos were touched by both, and I was going to comment on their passing. I was also going to update you on what the new Purdue president, the Hong Kong immigrant Dr. Mung Chiang, did in response to a white Purdue NW chancellor’s racist Asian slur.

That was on the agenda, but now all anyone is talking about is the life of Buffalo Bills professional football player Damar Hamlin.

If you were like many Americans, you were watching Monday Night Football. Some out of cultural entertainment habit, some because the game


New Year Reflections on a Pope, A TV Trailblazer, and the NFL’s Damar Hamlin

really meant something for both the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, whom many regard as the best team currently in football.

But then in the first quarter something happened that you rarely see. Hamlin, a defensive back, stopped a ball carrier who ran high into his chest. Hamlin absorbed the force and tackled the player down. That’s normal.

Hamlin stood up, then promptly collapsed, and fell backward.

That’s not entertainment. And that’s when we all blew the whistle—on football.

Suddenly it was life and death. Concussion? No this was something different. This was not like Tua’s collapse. The announcers talked about CPR being administered. Later, we learn a defibrillator was used. One of the docs on cable TV looking at the same game conjectured on what we all saw; that the blunt force to Hamlin’s chest caused ventricular fibrillation, essentially your heart runs amok and is unable to pump blood through

the body causing a drop in blood pressure so extreme Hamlin collapsed.

For the next few hours the nation was stunned.

This isn’t football. The game was suspended and there was no further play. How could there be? But that wouldn’t have been the case five or ten years ago when the belief was “the show must go on.”

But things have changed. Everyone now realizes that football is more dangerous than we think. Is that why we like it? Maybe we should reconsider making it safer. These players are humans, not gladiators.

This is a message that needs to trickle down to college, and on to the high school and youth levels, where I played and had one scary moment.

In my day, they taught you to lead with your head. Use your helmet. One time I did and blacked out. No one administered or cared for me. I shrugged it off because I was taught to be football tough. But I came to my senses. I quit the team and never played again.

It was like walking away from the football brotherhood.

At the pro level these days, the brotherhood is real. You saw it on players’ faces as medical staff administered to Hamlin. They all know how dangerous the game can be.

“I cherish (life) every second that I can, you know, every second of every day,” Hamlin said in a November interview, when he talked about praying with his fellow defensive backs holding their hands and grabbing hard. “Because you never know when the last day could be that you get to

experience something like this, so I’m cherishing every moment I can.”

Hamlin, was not considered a “star,” yet. He started the season as a backup, then took over for an injured player and has emerged as a Bills favorite.

As I write he remains in critical condition in the ICU. Later on, a relative told CNN, Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice. Once on the field another time in the hospital. Will he survive?

He is the one player everyone in America roots for.

Barbara Walters

As a broadcast journalist, I was partial to Walter Cronkite, but it was Barbara Walters with whom I shared an affinity.

I was trying to break into a field where there were few if any Asians. People could stand watching the character Hop Sing on “Bonanza,” played by actor Victon Sen Yung.

Or the Filipino chauffeur in the TV show “Burke’s Law” played by Leon Lontoc.

But would they watch me, an Asian American Filipino man reading the TV news?

They definitely would watch a white woman first, and that’s why Walters was a trailblazer not just for all the women who followed (including Connie Chung and Lisa Ling), but for men like me as well.

I reported the news on TV in Dallas (where I worked with Scott Pelley) and in San Francisco, where I worked in a newsroom headed by another trailblazing woman, Sylvia Chase. I also got to anchor in Washington, DC television, as well as nationally on NPR, where I was the first Asian American and Filipino to host “All Things Considered.”

In most situations, I was the only Filipino on the set or in the newsroom.

I never met Walters, but I admired what she did to present the news in a more interesting way. Detractors would call it “infotainment.”

But it was just Walter’s style. It was plenty hard and aggressive. She would get at a revealing fact by asking questions few would dare ask in an interview. That’s how she made

news, and then she presented it in a way people could consume it easily. That’s not infotainment. It was a ratings strategy and for that Walters was paid handsomely.

What I find most interesting is that after she brought women to the anchor desk, and brought diversity to network news programming, Walters took the talk show format and made conversation a news medium with “The View.” She created it when she was 67. That’s inspirational.

When she died recently at 93, “The View” may be the most enduring thing she created.

I will miss Barbara Walters.

Pope Benedict XVI

Benedict, on the other hand, I won’t miss. In fact, he could have learned something from how Walters shook up the old boy’s network in TV news. Benedict just didn’t shake the old boy’s network of the church as much as he could have.

Still, as pope emeritus, Benedict was top of the fold as they say in newspaper front-page lingo. Over Walters.

As an Asian American Filipino, almost like a dutiful subconscious reaction, I went to mass online for one of the few times during the pandemic.

I knew, it was out of respect for Pope Benedict XVI.

Altar boy guilt? Maybe. But the lead in the Times story pretty much said it all.

“Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, a quiet scholar of diamond hard intellect who spent much of his life enforcing church doctrine and defending tradition before shocking the Roman Catholic world by becoming the first pope in six centuries to resign, died recently. He was 95.”

Almost right, but only if you knew “defending tradition” also included his shameful failure to act when it came to the international, worldwide sex abuse scandals of the church.

This is not to say he did nothing. But he stopped short of holding bishops accountable for their shell game practice of moving and hiding abusive priests.

(continue on page 10)


HFC Journalism Scholar Jasmine Sadang Graduates A Semester Early From HPU

Congratulations to Jasmine Sadang, the 2021 winner of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle journalism scholarship, for graduating a semester early from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU). She majored in Mass Communication/Media Studies with a minor in English and earned honors distinction as magna cum laude at the graduation ceremony held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Dec. 15, 2022.

Sadang said she was able to finish her undergraduate education in 3½ years by taking courses at Leeward Community College while attending Hawaii Pacific University full time. She balanced academics with a part-time job at Edible Arrangements and

Hawaii has been trying hard to recruit doctors who understand the language and culture of Filipinos to add to our 11-member providers across the state with little success.”

Dr. Sonido adds, “the acute shortage leads to physician overload and subsequently burnout. The insurance companies keep decreasing reimbursement and the overhead keeps going up. As a result, independent solo practice has been dwindling, physicians are retiring early or moving to the mainland. We have tried many ways to reverse the process by increased efficiency, constant innovation and working hours. But you can only do so much, it is near the breaking point.”

Health experts say the physician shortage has deepened since the pandemic and could get worse.

# 9 Filipinos Finally Get Hollywood Support in Major Filipino Film Release

Jo Koy’s Easter Sunday was history in the making as it presented to mass audiences

participation in extra-curricular activities as a writing lab mentor and staff writer for Her Campus, HPU’s online magazine. Additionally, she contributed feature articles to the Chronicle during her scholarship year. Now just a few weeks out of her university life, she already misses her professors. She said, “[T]hey have inspired me so much to continue doing what I love to do. Without their support and feedback, I would not have been able to develop the skills and knowledge that I have right now. With that being said, I would like to give a big thanks to

(over 3,000 theaters across the U.S. and Canada, and hundreds more globally) on the big screen the theme of a Filipino family and culture. It’s the first such movie produced and distributed by a major Hollywood studio. It was produced by Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures.

The film stars a famous Filipino comedian/actor Koy (playing himself) and a mostly all-Filipino cast including pioneering actor Lou Diamond Philipps and pioneering actress Hawaii’s own Tia Carrere.

Easter Sunday -- in the first two weeks with theater showings alone in the U.S. and Canada -- made $10 million, coming in a respectable 7th place and 11th place in box office earnings for those weeks. The movie studio spent $17 million to create Easter Sunday.

Koy, whose real name is Joseph Glenn Herbert, told the New York Times, “So when I was thinking of a movie, I was like, how can I…talk

the professors in the communications and English departments for their support and guidance throughout my college journey.”

Sadang also expressed

about my culture, shine light on my ethnicity, but still tell a family story and show all the crazy characters that every family has? And I was like, Easter Sunday. That’s the day every single person in my family comes and gathers, a fight breaks out, crying happens. I wanted to be able to tell that story in one day, and that’s the one day that stands out big in my family.”

Additional revenues were earned in the film’s global release, with a large showing in the Philippines, as well as earnings from the release on digital platforms.

HFC did a cover story on Koy’s film.

#10 Debt Relief as High As $20,000 Available on College Loans

Millions of young adults and families could get a fresh start under a student loan forgiveness program passed by President Biden who ordered the U.S. Department of Education to cancel up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt.

her gratitude to the many people and organizations throughout her undergraduate education.

“I also want to thank my family and friends for showing their support in different ways; my college colleagues who inspired me to keep pushing through the hard times; the staff at Hawaii Pacific University’s Center of Academic Success and Dr. Angela Gili for taking a chance on me and allowing me to help other students with their writing process; 6 Pillars Marketing for an amazing starting internship opportunity; and of

“If all borrowers claim the relief that they’re entitled to, 43 million federal student loan borrowers will benefit,” the White House said in a press release. “And of those, 20 million will have their debt completely canceled.”

The initiative is currently held up in the courts. The Supreme Court is slated to consider the Biden administration’s debt-relief plan in the next several months.

If approved by SCOTUS, the program will forgive those who meet income requirements up to $10,000 in debt cancellation. Single borrowers are eligible for the relief if their adjusted gross income in 2020 or 2021 was less than $125,000. Married couples and heads of households need an AGI below $250,000 to qualify. For current students who are dependents, eligibility will be based on the income of their parents.

Another $10,000 could be waived for some people who also received federal Pell Grants, which are awarded to students based on financial need. But

course, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle for choosing me as the scholarship recipient in 2021 and giving me a lifetime opportunity to write for the Filipino community,” Sadang said.

She offered a few words of encouragement for her successor, Lizette Nolasco, the 2022 Chronicle journalism scholar: “My advice for the new scholarship winner, Lizette, would be to make the most of out of your scholarship experience. You’ll have the opportunity to write about topics relevant to you and meet others in the community who have so much to say. I’m excited for you and I can’t wait to see your written work!”

The new year ahead is open for new adventures and possibilities for the recent graduate. Sadang shared, “My plans after graduation are just to continue finding opportunities to expand and apply my skills to get more experience in the marketing and communications field.” 

they also must meet the income requirements. The White House said more than 60% of current federal student loan borrowers also received Pell Grants.

In June, an NPR/Ipsos Poll found a majority of the public (55%) supported forgiving up to $10,000 of a person’s federal student loan debt. Forty-seven percent of all respondents said they supported forgiving up to $50,000 in debt, while 41% expressed support for wiping the slate completely clean for all borrowers.

While there is considerable support for loan forgiveness, some say it isn’t enough. There are others who want some kind of option for loan holders who already paid off some or all of their college loans.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Original articles appeared in HFC cover stories, editorials, news or topics written by columnists. In each article, HFC presented a Filipino-community angle reporting on and for our niche audience. Articles can be accessed on thefilipinochronicle.com.)



Chaminade’s Lizette Nolasco Soars to Success as Winner of Chronicle’s $2,500 Journalism Scholarship

Lizette Jelena Nolasco of Pearl City has soared to success by winning the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s journalism scholarship at the end of 2022. The $2,500 award will help her financially at Chaminade University of Honolulu where she is majoring in communication (mass communications concentration) with a minor in history. The honor roll student’s anticipated date of graduation is May 2024, and she is aiming for a career that allows her to document events and perspectives regarding intercultural communication, including discovering more about her own Filipino culture.

She feels honored about winning the scholarship as it

would ease some of the skyrocketing tuition costs. Her mom Trina helps with some of her educational expenses, but she still has several student loans.

“I am responsible for paying my own way through college. However, [my mom] is a cosigner on many of my student loans because when I started college, I needed a cosigner since I was still a minor and had no credit history. But I am responsible for paying off my student loans,” she said.

Like many students, Nolasco works part-time to earn money for college. Her job is a salesclerk at a supply store. She works hard and manages to balance academics and extra-curricular activities successfully.

“I usually take six class-

es during my semester while also being involved in multiple nonprofit organizations to help my community and working part time,” she said.

“Due to my schedule, it is often difficult to set time for each, but I manage them. Sometimes I can only work a few days a week, which becomes challenging when I have to account for adding in hours to pay for my tuition.”


Nolasco has a strong work ethic and is goal oriented and disciplined in balancing everything in her life but demonstrates selflessness in her desire to serve the community.

At Aiea High School, she joined the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), graduating in 2019 at the rank of cadet captain.

“I joined JROTC because the program is focused on personal development and community involvement. They teach leadership skills and is an organization that’s dedicated to serving the community.” Nolasco explained. “I was also honored to have held over 10 leadership positions while in the program, my favorite being the Kitty Hawk Air Society Commander position where I was able to organize and coordinate the

community service projects that the JROTC unit participated in.”

For her efforts, Nolasco earned the American Legion Scholastic Gold Medal and Military Officers Association of America Award, reflecting her academic standing, leadership ability, military discipline, dependability, good moral character and patriotism.

Although Nolasco has considered a military career, she feels more drawn to the journalism and mass communications (JMC) field in the future.

“I had planned to work in intelligence in the military and was actually going through the process with a recruiter in my senior year but chose to focus on pursuing my college education at Chaminade University. I would consider a civilian position working with the mili-

on page 11)
Lizette Jelena Nolasco

We just exited the 2022 calendar and just entered the year 2023! The spirit of Christmas was all over the world.

We left 2022 with my family celebrating together and rejoicing as one big family on December 25 with five children in-person in California and one via Zoom.

Tweety and her husband Jonathan, with their young daughter Hawaiian-born Ellie from South Carolina arrived a week before Christmas. Paul, our youngest who is from Hawaii, arrived three days before Christmas and Jojo (without his wife Alvi and children Kayla and Bibay) from Florida arrived just in time for the Christmas celebration. Of course, our son Jayson and daughter May were still living with us at that time.

Gigi and husband Eric from Sydney, Australia joined us via Zoom breaking all the physical boundaries that separated us throughout the year. Thanks to the wonders of the


Goodbye 2022. Welcome 2023!

internet, it allowed us to be together despite the distance.

We spent Christmas in our daughter May and Steve’s house in their newly built house in Manteca, California. And the following day, we celebrated the traditional Christmas party of our extended family up to the fifth generation at Allyson and Efren’s house in Livermore.

While we put up our modest Christmas tree with gifts under it, we always had in mind that gift-giving was just incidental during the holidays.

We celebrated it the frugal way and we still retained the Christmas spirit. We wrapped things that the children can use in their daily life and things they need to wear and use most of the time.

After all, it is the giving that matters and receiving is just a gesture of thankfulness.

This 2023, our desire to move forward will be stronger than ever and our attempt to fill out whatever deficit we had in the previous year should be effectively executed.

We believe in transformation because our big break is within reach and all it takes is hard work, determination, and a nurturing ambition. There’s always hope for improvement in every New Year we face. That’s what we will do because we believe that our career will

progress at a commanding rate in the New Year, and obstacles along the way will be swept aside as if they’d never been there before. The tools for change are within our disposal, so we shall utilize them to good use and transform our life for the coming year.

We will, of course, embrace the challenges ahead of us because this is what we are judged and to be victorious at the end. These are easier said than done but we will strive to fulfill them as we are triggered by our desire to be transformed during the New Year… which we were not able to do in 2022.

This is the time to make new year’s resolutions because a new year can be a great time to set intentions and look for ways to make positive changes in the months to come. Just remember to set realistic goals and things that are simple and reachable. Otherwise, we are doomed to fail in pursuing our New Year’s resolutions since general and unreasonable intentions are difficult to comply with.

While most New Year’s resolutions fail, despite this, we do it anyway! A study made in 2007, conducted by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people, showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail. Well, if that is the case, why is there still a need for a New Year’s resolution? With almost everybody breaking their promises immedi-

Benedict’s “diamond intellect” was more hard-assed and showed little compassion for the abused. Instead, he upheld the old boy’s network and allowed the bishops to protect the abusers. It’s cost the church billions of dollars, plus the trust and faith of followers lost.

And for that, Benedict dies in shame.

Purdue Slur

Since Dec. 10, a racist slur spoken by Thomas Keon Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest has been inadequately addressed by Purdue University.

ately after making them, and after jumping when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31, 2022 during the countdown: do we still have to make resolutions?

In real life, yes! Most people make their New Year’s resolution because it is crucial to our life. If we make one, we set a goal that we aspire to attain. On the other hand, if we do not – there is no direction – at all, in our life!

While there are popular goals or resolutions people go for, to me, the most important, should be to keep the family together. If your family is one, united, and well-connected – maintain it by all means! If there is a lot of disconnections, dysfunctions, and misunderstandings – pick up the pieces and put them together.

So, with that, let us make and nourish this year’s resolution to greater heights. Make the family the center of our heart, the center of our life, the center of our existence. In fact, make it the center of everything we do in life without any mental reservation!

In the same study, it showed that the most common reason for participants failing their New Year’s resolution was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents, the study further showed, claimed they made too many resolutions.

As to success rate, the

A reprimand from the board of trustees is not enough. Time for the university president to act.

And that would be the newly minted president of Purdue, Dr. Mung Chiang, who took over for Mitch Daniels, the former Republican governor who was Purdue’s president the last ten years.

Chiang is a humble Hong Konger who graduated with an engineering Ph.D. from Stanford, who went on to be wildly successful as professor at Princeton. He holds 25 patents. He also took a break to work for the Trump admin-

study mentioned better chances of achieving one’s resolutions when we engage in goal setting (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”); when we make our goals public and get support from our friends; and when we talk with a counselor about setting goals and New Year’s resolutions.

So, if only we can set up realistic goals, things that are attainable and easy to comply with… we may have a better success rate in accomplishing our resolutions!

But the reality is, with or without a New Year’s resolution, we can do many good things in our life. If we can set our New Year’s goals and can commit to these resolutions, our life will even be more meaningful… it will have a direction, there is a goal we can aim for and attain, as we live the New Year with a charted future!

So, wherever we are in this world, let’s face the New Year, embrace it, and let’s do it with the hope that it will help us for the better! And… don’t forget our traditions that go with the New Year. Know your roots!

Goodbye 2022! Welcome 2023! So, belated Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa ating lahat!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.

istration known for its xenophobic anti-Chinese science policy. Daniels lured him to be dean of the engineering school at Purdue and made him his successor.

So what did the Asian American immigrant do after a member of his leadership team has been accused of anti-Asian racism.


The old boy’s network is real and dies hard.

Welcome to 2023.

EMIL GUILLERMO is a journalist and commentator. His talk show is on www.amok.com.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: New Year ....from page 6)


Keep A Paper Trail

My daughter likes to listen to Bloomberg News, so while we drove, she put on a podcast explaining cryptocurrency. I listened and thought this is nuts, why would anyone put their money in cryptocurrency?

There’s no paper trail or statements to prove you had the funds. You can’t buy anything since there’s no place that accepts this currency instead of dollars. With all transactions on Discord, there’s no privacy because everyone else can see how much you deposit and withdraw.

There’s no regulations or oversight so fiduciaries act properly to account for each person’s funds and to safeguard the money. To me this libertarian “don’t tread on me” approach was full of problems.

tary on either intelligence or intercultural communication should the opportunity arise,” she said.

She is also interested in JMC because “I’ve always been invested in history and politics, and I like to take down accounts of historical events,” Nolasco said. “During high school, I learned about investigative journalism. Integrity is the driving factor in my life, and I was interested in stories about journalists working hard and bringing awareness to corrupt systems and individuals.”

Nolasco continues to study and explore JMC opportunities and experiences at Chaminade.

“Before college, writing was mainly attributed to standard essays or research papers, but after taking news writing classes at Chaminade, my whole perspective of what writing could be had changed,” she explained. “I discovered my love for conducting interviews and covering events and organizations. Journalism helped me to get more in touch with my community by allowing me to speak to members I likely

I’m a believer in regulation. Rules and standards make sure that houses are built to live in safely and withstand weather and natural disasters as much as possible. These ensure that food is safe to eat and won’t cause illnesses and products we buy are safe to use.

Rules and standards help create workplaces and work procedures that are safe. Regulation and agencies that enforce them protect our drinking water supplies from chemicals or pollution that can harm us or that the land we live on doesn’t cause physical harm to us.

I usually suspect that the people who balk about regulation are the ones who want to do wrong to others and don’t like being stopped from doing so.

wouldn’t have reached out to if it weren’t for my writing.”

The Silversword And Silver Wings

Nolasco is a staff writer on the Chaminade student news, The Silversword. She has numerous articles archived online at https://thesilversword. com/staff_name/lizette-nolasco/, ranging from social events coverage to social justice reporting. She will demonstrate more of her writing abilities in the Chronicle throughout this year as part of her journalism scholarship experience.

Besides being involved in The Silversword, Nolasco still participates in extra-curricular activities at the Hickam Chapter of Silver Wings, a national, co-ed, professional organization dedicated to creating proactive, knowledgeable and effective civic leaders through community service and education about national defense.

She currently serves as president of Silver Wings Hickam Chapter and was given the ‘Ilima Award in 2021 to recognize her contributions to and support for the organization’s mission. She wrote

The FTX bankruptcy proved that all the wariness was correct. Now the people who lost their funds are asking the government to replace their monies. They’re asking the very government they didn’t want to oversee the companies, regulate the processes, safeguard funds, and protect the investors.

On a subsequent podcast after the FTX fiasco became public, a British financial reporter interviewed one of its principals. Hearing his exculpatory responses, I finally said to the podcast: “Ask him! Ask him! Where are they? They

about some of the activities and accomplishments of Silver Wings Hickam Chapter in her essay to showcase their dedication to community service.

Local Service And Global Outlook

Back in 2018, Nolasco was featured on KHON-2 TV news with two other Aiea High School classmates who led the civic action #ProjectPuna, a community service donation drive to help and give relief to lava evacuees from the Kilauea eruption on Hawaii Island. Years before becoming a member of Ad 2, a partner organization of the American Advertising Federation, in college, Nolasco was already doing communication work by using grassroots word-of-mouth strategies, social media campaigns and broadcast journalism to promote their cause.

“A few classmates and I went

know they did something wrong. I bet you they’re in countries that have no extradition treaties with the U.S.”

Almost as if she heard me, the reporter’s very next question to the FTX principal was if they all happened to be vacationing in the locations they’re in because those nations had no extradition treaties with the U.S.. No, he said, that’s just a coincidence. My daughter turned to look at me with a grin and wide eyes.

Protection by regulation aside, I told my daughter the biggest problem with cryptocurrency was its secrecy. She said that’s what these people want – they don’t want the government knowing how much they have. Big mistake I immediately told her.

With this much secrecy, what happens when the person dies? How are his heirs supposed to the money if they don’t know all the passcodes? She hadn’t thought about that. She’s too young to think about

on the news and did a segment where we talked about [#ProjectPuna] and asked the community for help with donations. It was well-received, and we collected many donations from those in our community and throughout the island,” she said.

Although Nolasco participates in several community service projects locally in Hawaii, she also has a broader global outlook. She had studied abroad on the Semester at Sea program and is an avid traveler.

“I have been to Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark,

things as dying and inheriting. Then she found podcasts on two channels – financial and legal – that talked about that very issue.

Paper trails aren’t just important in the invisible currency arena. Inheritance is a major consideration.

After you die, for your loved ones to inherit, there must be proof of which financial institutions you have money at, that you have money there, how much it is, and the account numbers for the company to find the funds.

The secrecy surrounding cryptocurrency can make retrieving monies from a dead person next to impossible. Online banking, for all its convenience, can raise similar issues.

A serviceman passed away during training at a base on Oahu. He was divorced and had only one child, who lived with her mother on the east coast.

England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.S.A, Vatican City and Wales,” she said. “I am very grateful to have received scholarships to travel, and being able to experience different cultures, learn history and observe different ways of life is an incredible experience. I was able to hear stories from people who lived through intense periods of history firsthand and the lessons they want others to learn

(continue on page 14) (continue on page 13)
(NEWS FEATURE: Chaminade’s Lizette Nolasco....from
page 9)


The Nanny Chronicles

This is Wendy’s memoir, tracing her life as the youngest daughter of a tenant farmer in a remote village in Leyte province in the Philippines to her migration with an older sister to Manila to work as a domestic servant for a politician in then Ferdinand Marcos’s cabinet.

With the help of her sister’s husband, she was petitioned to migrate to Canada, where she eventually brought her children to join her and build a new life in their adopted country.

When she moved to Canada, she married a retired high school teacher and writer, David Owen, the person noted as author of this book. In an unusual twist for a memoir, David wrote the memoir as told by Wendy.

Unfortunately, a lot is lost in the re-telling. The nuances and quirks of the Filipina’s voice are lost: it certainly does not sound like her. But fortunately, her story has been told as eloquently and truthfully—a gain to all of us in the Filipino Diaspora.

The book consists of six parts. “Part I: A Girl from the Provinces” chronicles her life as a young girl in Bacolonad, Leyte.

These first chapters capture the rhythms of the life in the provinces where she describes how her nanay extracted pure coconut oil to be used as compress to her head and body sores, and that her parents’ drink of choice was the tuba—a clear coconut wine that was sweet but potent.

Her parents worked in various landlord’s rice fields because only peanuts, cassava and sweet potatoes were planted on their leased plot of land. In payment for their labor at the rice fields, the landlords either shared a fifth of the harvest, or a fourth—from the kinder landlords.

Wendy did well academically in school in Leyte, but when her nanay died, her life’s trajectory changed. She had to leave school and and work to help support the family. In “Part II: Maynila,” she narrates her experiences as a domestic servant in Manila.

She was seduced by a driver in one of the homes she worked for and quit in shame when she found out she got pregnant. In “Part III: A New Family,” she chronicles her life as wife, mother and step-mother to a young family living in the suburbs of Manila.

Part IV and V of the memoir describes her early years in Canada, after her older sis-

ter’s husband petitions for her to migrate. In these chapters, we catch glimpses of the hard work and loneliness that migrants encounter, especially when separated from their families and children. Wendy eventually brings her children to live with her in Canada, except her Filipino husband who preferred to stay behind.

In Part VI, she eventually marries a Canadian resident and brings him back to the Philippines to visit family and gives him “an intimate view, from the inside, of a large working Filipino family.”

Her husband in the foreword thanks his Filipino inlaws “…for their kind, tolerant acceptance of someone, who through the fortunes of a Canadian birth, has avoided the privations which comes with


Preparing for Your Passing (Part 1)

As of January 4, 2023, there has been 1,102,275 COVID deaths. The pandemic taught many people that they had to stop putting off this task and get their “papers in order”. If you’re wondering what you should do to help out your family at this key milestone, here’s some suggestions.

Funeral Plan. Let your family know if you have a funeral plan. If you do, tell them who the plan is with and where the documents are so they know what’s covered and what they have to pay (cost of urn, etc.).

Friends. This list is so your

family knows who to notify to let them know you passed. Your family probably knows who your friends are, but in this age of friends afar, your family may not know their contact information. You could note your friends’ phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses, to make it easier for your family to pass on news of your death. Make a list of your assets. A paper trail is important. Note the financial institution, with contact information, and current value. Clip at least one statement for each asset to the list. This informs your family what they need to collect to dis-

tribute. The statement is proof of the asset and helps the institution to locate the account and verify ownership.

If you have electronic statements, it’s especially important to print a couple of statements as proof of the existence of the accounts. Your family has to know where your money is kept and the account numbers.

If your family cannot give this information to the bank or investment company, it may be difficult or impossible to get access to their inheritance.

Include a copy of the deed to help the lawyer write a conveyance deed to the heirs.

life for working people in the Philippines.” This provided the impetus for him to prod his wife to tell her story.

This is not the first book published by David Owen. His first two books detail the lives of what he calls the “nanny phenomenon” of Hong Kong where virtually most were Filipina caregivers. He further notes that an occupation survey done by students at a Hong Kong university gave prostitutes a higher social status than domestic caregivers.

Unlike in Hong Kong, migrant caregivers in Canada could eventually gain citizenship, and the country took a more progressive approach to employment conditions for live-ins, but the feudal nature of the arrangement still makes them extremely vulnerable. This book, written from Wendy’s perspective provides insights in the challenges faced by migrant women in that country.

The book’s formatting needs improvement. Some names are pasted over (perhaps a last-minute move to protect privacy), but still disconcerting. Chapters are mislabeled and don’t match the table of contents. However, the writer tried to be as authentic as possible by “checking and re-checking” the narratives being told. The book is liberally

illustrated with photographs from Wendy’s personal collection, and helps provide context to the narrative, but—less would be better.

Wendy is typical of countless Filipino women who left home and loved ones to forge a new and better life in a new land. The real value of the book is that it documents the struggles—as well as triumphs—of a Filipino migrant, with her own recollection and her point of view. For subsequent generations, this would be the source of information about the history of their ancestors as told by them, and not someone else.

One piece of advice: write your own memoir. If you don’t want to write, get someone to write for you, or tape your recollection and have it transcribed.

If interested and intrigued by the prospect of seeing your memoir in print, send an email to kalamansibooks@gmail. com for the schedule of workshops being planned on the subject.

ROSE CRUZ CHURMA established Kalamansi Books & Things three decades ago. It has evolved from a mail-order bookstore into an on-line advocacy with the intent of helping global Pinoys discover their heritage by promoting books of value from the Philippines and those written by Filipinos in the Diaspora. We can be reached at kalamansibooks@gmail.com.

Many people think “I won’t have the deed till I’m done paying off the loan.” Not true. You should have received a copy of your deed when you bought the house / got the home loan.

Make a list of your debts. Make a chart similar to the one above and again, print a statement and clip it to the back of the list. This helps your family know who to pay, how much to pay, where to send the payment, and how much is owed.

If you have automatic bill payment, it’s important that your family know, so they can leave money in the bank account where the funds are withdrawn or to be able to change from autopay to manual pay.

Taxes. Your last tax return has to be filed, so let your family know who your tax preparer is. Try to keep your documents in place so your family can take any necessary papers to the tax preparer.

In the next issue’s article, we’ll talk about legal documents that will help your family get access to and distribute your assets. 

This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be constructed as offering legal advice. Please consult an attorney for your individual situation. The author is not responsible for a reader’s reliance on the information contained here.



My Anthem for 2023

earnestly pray that 2022 will be a year when we can finally breathe and be free.”


I remember writing these words in my first article for the year 2022.

The beginning of the year was marked with confident expectation that the year 2022 would be better after a very difficult ordeal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries have started to ease restrictions. People started to gather. Masks could already be removed in some nations. There was so much hope for a better and brighter new year. But just as we were about to pick up the pieces, a war broke out in Eastern Europe which caused a ripple effect of crises, altering the course of human history.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year had been the catalyst of a worldwide crisis that continue to affect families and ravage nations until now. Like a domino, it worsened an already existing energy crisis that further led to a global economic downfall, dampening our hopes for recovery from a catastrophic pandemic.

Added to this the disastrous impacts of intense weather changes and unexpected natural disasters–destructive wildfires in many countries during the summer, deadly snowstorms in winter, eruption of volcanoes that have been inactive for many years, devastating typhoons and earthquakes that take hundreds of lives.

Not only these, racial injustice and divisive political opinions have been exposed causing chaotic outcomes.

To say 2022 had been a challenging and difficult year

is an understatement. But during a very tough year, I have seen how God had been so good to me and my family. Despite the rising prices of commodities and living expenses, never have we felt forsaken and forgotten.

I praise God for His overflowing provision that never fails to see us through, for His supernatural protection that keep us and allow us to see another day, and simply for being a good, good Father. I hope you can see His goodness in the seemingly insignificant moments and things in your life, too.

This 2023, as I’ve always done for the past years of my life, I will choose to fix my eyes not on my circumstances, the events happening around me, or what the world dictates but on the One who has set the stars in place, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Giver of life.

I will choose not to focus on the what, when, why and

how but on the Who. I’ve always heard and read this, cliché as it may seem, but I hold on to this truth: we do not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future, therefore we can be confident as we face a new season.

Indeed, just as the night falls, the sun never fails to rise. The winter cold ravages but spring flowers bloom after.

I started my article for the year 2022 with the song, New Beginnings by Every Nation Music.

“This is the day of new beginnings, the old is passing, change is coming by Your Spirit. It’s a new season of revealing Your Word is true and You will never ever fail. Your presence will lead us.”

This song ends with the following words: “He’s never failed me yet, He’s never failed me yet. My heart and my soul confess, God is my confidence. He’s never failed me yet.”


And this is my anthem for 2023. Because He has never failed me yet, my soul is anchored in Him, my hope is set on Him.

The world will continue to be a dark place to live in. Life will continue to throw curveballs along the way. Things will never get easier. But this world is not our home. Our hope is not the things of this world. Our hope is a Person–the reason why we celebrated Christmas, and He is the reason why we can be confident as we face a new year. May we all have an unshakable hope in His unfailing love.

This is my prayer for you. This 2023, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Declaring a prosperous and a blessed 2023 upon you and your family! Happy New year!

Local Hawaii Farmers Struggle with Depression, Study Shows

Local farmers age 45 years or younger are welcoming 2023 facing mental stress. According to a recent study, 47% of local Hawaii farmers have experienced depression while 14% struggled with suicidal thoughts.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agricul-

(LEGAL NOTES: Keep ....from page 11)

Understandably, being military and wanting to avoid the humbug that comes with paper statements from his financial institutions, he did all his banking and investing online.

Convenient, yes, with no file folders to track or pack up to move to the next duty station. He had not kept any paper statements of his accounts. It was all online.

After the Army notified his family of his death, they came to collect his belong-

ture and Human Resources conducted the study as part of a broader federal mandate and funding focusing on farmers mental health.

“This study validated a lot of what we’ve already observed in the field, but also bore a bumper crop of details and gems that will really help us serve our local ag workers,” said Thao Le, principal

ings. There were no statements to show where he kept his money. He had done all his banking and investing online. The family asked Verizon and Google – his internet carrier and service providers – for access to his email accounts so they could find his money. Both companies provided the family with templates for them to obtain a court order permitting them to give them that information.

The court reviewed the

investigator of the study and director of the “Seeds of Wellbeing” (SOW) project.

“One of the biggest surprise was that who reported using professional help to cope faired worst which is contrary to what we expected.”

There are several programs underway including a program that will focus on the relational components and wellbeing of farmers. The

templates but said that the right of privacy transcends death. If the deceased person didn’t leave a paper trail or give them his passwords or account numbers, they were out of luck.

What’s the lesson here?

Keep a paper trail. Once in a while, print out statements from your online accounts and put them with your estate planning documents.

When you die your family at least knows where you kept

Agriculture Mental Health Mentors program hope to educate and provide tools, care and support to make farmers feel confident in “talk stories” about mental health.

“If we want to make sure we have a next generation of farmers and ranchers in Hawaii, we need to be paying close attention to their mental and emotional health,” Le said.

The SOW project has

your money so when they take the statements to the bank or investment company, those institutions can locate your funds to pay it to you.

Those paper statements are proof of the existence of accounts. Marriage or birth certificates can show your relation to the decedent, to confirm your beneficiary status when the bank or brokerage checks its records of who was designated as beneficiaries.

We all work hard to earn

produced a series of video and audio podcasts, and mental health prevention guides for farmers called Coll Mind Main Thing. There is also a media campaign to increase the public’s respect and appreciation for farmers and ranchers called Malama The Farmer.

For more information, visit manoa.hawaii.edu/sowwell/.

our living. When we pass away, we want to make sure our loved ones receive what we left unused. Keep a paper trail to help ensure that this happens.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be constructed as offering legal advice. Please consult an attorney for your individual situation. The author is not responsible for a reader’s reliance on the information contained here.


Poll: 84% of Filipinos Want to Leverage US Partnership for WPS Defense

MANILA, Philippines — A survey commissioned by Stratbase ADR Institute showed that 84% of Filipinos want the country to work with the United States in defending its sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

The same survey also showed that 80% or four out of five Filipinos believe that the current administration should focus on improving

the country’s military capabilities, on top of conducting joint maritime patrols and military exercises with allied countries.

“Working with friends, allies and partners as a strategy allows the Philippines to practice an independent foreign policy based on the public’s interests,” Stratbase President Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit said during a hybrid forum organized by the think-tank and the US Embassy in Manila on Thursday.

The survey was conducted from November 27 to December 1, 2022, polling a randomly-selected 1,200 pool. Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes noted that the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Thailand, and US Vice President Kamala Harris’ quick stop to the Philippines in November may have impacted public opinion during their survey.

Results also showed that respondents also want the Philippines to work with Japan (52%), Australia (25%), the United Kingdom (24%),

South Korea (23%) and the European Union (20%) to secure the West Philippine Sea.

Meanwhile, 20% also want the Philippines to work with China to resolve maritime issues.

The Philippines has claims over the West Philippine Sea, backed by the 2016 Hague ruling that invalidated China’s nine-dash claims over the waters. However, Beijing has continuously ignored this.

Washington’s ‘ironclad’ commitment

Since President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos

Jr. assumed office in 2022, US President Joe Biden has expressed that he wanted to build closer ties with its oldest treaty ally despite “rocky times.”

The Philippines has hosted a number of high-ranking White House officials last year, starting with the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in August, and US Vice President Kamala Harris stopping over in Manila and Palawan after the APEC Summit in November. (www. philstar.com) 

Philippines, China Vow ‘Friendly’ Handling of Maritime Spats

Manila and Beijing on Wednesday vowed to resolve maritime disagreements through consultation, during a visit by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos to the Chinese capital amid heightened tensions over the hotly disputed South China Sea.

Marcos and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping both

called for “friendly consultation to appropriately resolve maritime issues,” at a meeting on Wednesday, China’s stateowned broadcaster CCTV said.

China and the Philippines are at odds over the South China Sea, with Beijing claiming sovereignty over almost the entire area despite an international court ruling that

its claims have no legal basis.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping claims to parts of the sea, and Manila ordered its military last month to boost its presence in the contested waters after a report that China had started reclaiming several unoccupied land features around the Spratly Islands.

Marcos has insisted he will not let China trample on the Philippines’ maritime rights in the area, and said before arriving in Beijing that he hoped to address “political security issues of a bilateral and regional nature”.

Xi on Wednesday told Marcos that China wished to “contribute more positive energy to regional peace and stability” and “promote cooperation on oil and gas development in

about their experiences.”

She added, “One day while living on a ship, I participated in the organization of a menstrual product drive for refugees and visited nonprofits that help rescue refugees from unstable rafts in the ocean. I spoke to the mayor of a town in Malta who was trying to promote unity and a sense of community between the citizens of her town and the rapid influx of refugee populations. On the political scale, I met the president of the European Parliament and spoke to members of the British Parliament about in-

non-disputed areas,” according to CCTV.

The two sides also discussed working together in fields including agriculture and medicine, CCTV reported, and signed a host of agreements for cooperation in infrastructure, fisheries, tourism and other areas.

The Philippine government said last week both sides would sign a communication agreement to “avoid miscalculation and miscommunication in the West Philippine Sea”, referring to the part of the South China Sea that it claims.

CCTV did not specify if this agreement was among those inked by the leaders on Wednesday. (www.philstar. com) 

ternational relations. I went to schools and spoke to students and teachers who were driven on promoting intercultural education and communication to their students, many of whom have different backgrounds.”

Nolasco said that these experiences have exposed her to so many different global perspectives.

“It showed me the importance of educating and living with open mindedness and engaging in intercultural communication,” she explained. “This experience will help me as a future journalist because

(continue on page 15)
(NEWS FEATURE: Chaminade’s Lizette Nolasco....from page

MANILA KILLA CONCERT | Electric Palms, The Republik | January 6, 2023 at 9pm | The Republik, Kapiolani Blvd | Chris Gavino, best known as Manila Killa, is a producer and DJ who has been praised by multiple media publications such as Billboard, Forbes, Complex, Paper and NYLON. This is an 18+ event. Ticket starts at $20. To purchase, visit http://jointherepublik.com/events/manilakilla-2/.

LET’S ZUMBA | Filipino Community Center | Every Monday starting January 9, 2023 at 6:15pm | FilCom Center, Consuelo Courtyard, 94-428 Mokuola Street, Waipahu | Need to unwind in movement and dance after a long workday? Join the community as we Zumba through the evening. Only $5 per class. Proceeds go to support these program-types for FilCom Center.



Starting salary from $2,000 per month with annual salary increases

• Need domestic help who knows how to do household chores such as cleaning, cooking, laundering clothes and other household services.

• Prior experience preferred. Attractive salary package awaits you!


BANK OF HAWAII FAMILY SUNDAY | Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Honolulu Museum of Art | Every third Sunday of the month starting January 22, 2023 from 10am to 6pm | Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania | Engage in creative keiki activities, entertainment and community-focused programming at the museum. Admission is free for kamaaina.

AARP HAWAII KAPOLEI WALK | AARP Hawaii, Hawaii Blue Zones Project | January 28 at 9am | Mehana Neighborhood Park, 458 Manawai Street, Kapolei | Take a healthy walk this New Year and get to know the Kapolei neighborhood. Stretching exercises are also administered before the 30-minute walk. Arrive early by 8:45am to check-in.



Babysitter is needed to care for a 1-year old baby and do other activities related to babysitting. Experience preferred. Please include in your resume your references. Competitive salary and other benefits await you. Send resume to: filipinochronicle@gmail.com

THE 98TH ANNUAL HOOLAULEA 2023 | KSK Association of Teachers and Parents, Kamehameha Schools | February 25, 2023 at 8:30am-4pm |

THE 27TH ANNUAL HONOLULU FESTIVAL | The Honolulu Festival Foundation | March 10-12, 2023 | Hawaii Convention Center, Kalakaua Avenue | The three-day event will highlight cultures from Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region such as the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Tahiti and many more. Admission to the events is free. For the full event schedule, visit honolulufestival.com.

it helped me to gain perspective from others with different life experiences, and I developed an understanding of the importance of sharing one’s story to bring awareness to our global issues.”

Both of Nolasco’s professors at Chaminade also made special note of Nolasco’s global outlook in their reference letters.

“She wants to make the world around her better, and she’s willing to do the hard work it takes to accomplish this,” said Professor Kimberlee Baxter.

“Lizette has what it takes to be a leader among her peers and shows the characteristics of a well-rounded person that would be a great addition to any company. She is goal oriented and committed to refine her projects until it meets all criteria,” Professor Lowell Gillia added. “She conducts herself as a young professional who is ready to take on the world!” 

Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama, 210 Konia Circle | Enjoy authentic local food, music, games, and much more at this fundraiser event to support teacher and student grants, college scholarships and ohana events. (NEWS FEATURE: Chaminade’s Lizette Nolasco....from page 14)
JANUARY 7, 2023